On Tuesday, the NCAA didn’t merely budge. It relented. The governing body of college sports adopted a handful of shrewd rules that, it says, enhance the well-being of student-athletes. Chief among them is the one that will allow for all-you-can-eat conditions at your favorite athletic department.
It is long overdue, and it’s had the NCAA’s attention for months. Before UConn guard Shabazz Napier said at the Final Four he sometimes went to bed hungry because his scholarship didn’t cover enough food. Before WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen told me in July he had walk-ons and scholarship players who were starving at the end of a long day for the same reasons Napier claimed.
Now student-athletes and walk-ons are on track to have unlimited meals and snacks, provided the idea survives the override period (not guaranteed) and is approved later this month (more likely than not). Thank Napier for giving the topic attention. Thank Holgorsen for being bold enough to point out the problem. Thank their brethren who have said the same without the same spotlight.
But believe it or not, it’s wise to thank the NCAA.